So after writing about how to maximise the amount of cash you can save in Amsterdam, I wanted to show you exactly what I did, and how I did it. Then you can work out the best way for you to save yourself some cash, and see as much as you can in your three days in Amsterdam without it hurting your wallet. Welcome to moneysaving in Amsterdam, day one.
In order to maximise my cash I used a 72-hour Iamsterdam citycard, my museum card (so I didn’t have to pay to get into the Rijksmuseum, and so I could jump the queue), Minicards, and deal sites, although for many of you buying an Iamsterdam city card and a museum card is not economical or cost-effective, but check out my article on money-saving for more information on which to choose.
The key here is planning. If you know exactly what it is that you want to do, then you can make a plan to maximise time-saving and money-saving to the fullest. On my list for day one was the Rijksmuseum, the Museum of Bags and Purses, a canal cruise and then something to do in the evening. I checked out where the freebies from the Iamsterdam city card, and then I looked at what extras I could get with minicards, and on deal sites for any other offers.
I started off grabbing a croissant or two from the bakery (it’s much cheaper than paying for breakfast at your hotel, unless your breakfast is included in the price), and getting in to the Rijksmusem using my tips on how to avoid the queues. With the Iamsterdam City card you get €2.50 off the entrance price which takes the total down to €12.50 for an adult ticket. With a museum card it’s free to get in. I used my museum card, because I have it so it makes sense for me to use it. Top Tip: Download the audio tour online for your smartphone and save yourself €5 per person.
I spent about two hours in the museum as I chose to do the 90-minute highlights tour, but I also wanted to look at the other artefacts in the museum.
Next I walked to Cafe de Bazel for my free tea included with the Iamsterdam City Card, which was a teabag in hot water (and with no milk), although it was a little bit difficult to find since it is in the city Stadsarchief building, and not just a cafe on one of the pavements. I had a peppermint tea, which I really needed as museum visiting is thirsty work.
After walking around so much I was hungry (plus it was nearly lunch time), so I decided to go to Van Dobben for a free Croquette roll, which was so delicious, but it might not be filling enough for some people. Normally a croquette roll costs €2.75 from Van Dobben. I loved it in there. It was so nice because it seemed to keep filling up with people, and not only tourists, but plenty of Dutch people too.
Then it was off to the museum of bags and purses to check out some of the weird and wacky handbags that they have. I really liked it in there, and the great thing is that admission into the museum is free with the Iamsterdam City Card, and then on top of that if you have a minicard for the museum you can get 10% off designer bags within their shop if you’re planning on making a purchase.
After the Museum of bags and purses I decided to go on a canal cruise, since it was a beautiful day, so I caught the number 4 tram to Central station and went to Prins Henrikade to get the next boat. A boat tour is included in your city card, with a choice between two companies which is a really great way to see the city, especially on a sunny day. It normally costs €15 to do the 100 highlights tour, so it’s a good saving. If you don’t have an Iamsterdam card the Holland International offers a 10% discount if you book through their website.
Since I was in the area, I decided to stop off at the Bijenkorf to get my free gift, which was a free luggage label, and a magazine called SHOP. I think the luggage label is pretty good quality. The SHOP magzine is also great as it has news about different brands and also a handy shopping guide.
Because it was sunny I went to go and claim my free shot of liqueur or jenever at De Drie Fleschjes and sit in the sun. I chose the Jenever, which was a big mistake. I struggled to drink it because it had such a strong taste. Maybe a liqueur would have been a better choice, but the good thing was that the bar was really lovely with big casks in on the back wall.
Next I decided to head to the Last Minute Ticket Shop to see what tickets were available for that evening. They have tickets for everything and they are all 50% which trumps the Iamsterdam card and Minicards completely. There were tickets for the Boom Chicago Alumni show for €11.25. This was a 50% discount on the usual ticket price
For dinner then anything is possible.There are deal sites, or you can choose to use your city card for dinner discount, or a minicard. I used a deal from SocialDeal for a three course dinner at Moti Mahal which cost only €14.50, which was a 61% discount on their original prices.
Total savings: €86.50 including the free 72-hour transport card included with the Iamsterdam city card, and not including my free entry to the Rijksmuseum
Thanks to Amsterdam Marketing for the free use of a 72-hour city card
What are your money-saving tips for Amsterdam?